If a company has only one brand, marketing strategy and brand strategy are virtually identical. If a company has multiple brands, then marketing strategy is the overarching umbrella that protects, provides context, and guides the strategies for each of its brands.The number of brands and number of business units vary tremendously from company to company and so do the marketing strategies that make sense for each company. There is no simple, cookie-cutter approach or set of rules that allows a company to magically conjure up a winning marketing strategy. The marketing strategy is typically a vital component of the overall corporate strategy, at times actually driving corporate strategy.
An optimal marketing strategy arises from an analysis of current reality (i.e., the facts and findings from research and analytics) and creative human vision. That is, what visions of the future reside in the minds of senior management? What do they want the company to be or become over the next 10 to 20 years? The human vision is often more important than current reality, but current reality must be fully understood because it’s the starting point.
In helping companies create an optimal marketing strategy, Decision Analyst uses a variety of research techniques and consulting processes. A typical research and consulting plan would include some of the following elements:
- Alignment meetings with senior executives before the start of any work. These meetings would cover managerial philosophy, company organization, corporate strategy overall, marketing history, marketing data, management aspirations, and senior leaders’ thoughts about optimal marketing strategies for the company. Typically, a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis would be a part of the alignment meetings, as well as a discussion of resources available to implement a new marketing strategy.
- Review of all marketing-relevant sales and research data in client’s possession, previous qualitative research, ATUs, segmentation studies, analyses by brand and business units, marketing plans, etc.
- Secondary and/or primary research on company’s markets, advertising and marketing trends, distribution systems changes, compared to the same types of data for major competitors.
- A Markets Structure Study. For each major business unit and the markets it serves, such a study would provide an overview of market composition, competitive market shares, usage and buying patterns, sales patterns by channel of distribution, and so forth.
- Based on all of the foregoing data and analyses, Decision Analyst would develop and present its Marketing Strategy Outline to senior management. The Strategy Outline is not the finished product, but the starting point for senior managements input.
- Decision Analyst would lead an all-day workshop with senior management to debate the strategic alternatives, modify them as needed, choose the best marketing strategy, and begin to flesh out the details of the chosen plan.
- Marketing research or additional analyses would be commissioned to resolve any outstanding issues or disputed conclusions.
- Decision Analyst would develop a final strategy presentation, along with supporting documents, so that senior management could begin to implement the strategy, start the long process of educating company employees, and continue to refine the details of the plan.
Decision Analyst has more than 40 years of experience in marketing strategy development and optimization and in supporting research, analytics, and consulting. If you have questions or would like to discuss marketing strategy, please contact Jerry W. Thomas, President/CEO (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 1-800-ANALYSIS (262-5974) or 1-817-640-6166.